It is safe to say that we are living in transition. As we inch our way closer to a departure date, we find ourselves living more and more in the "in-between." As you can probably imagine this is not an easy place to dwell. We are not fully here and we are not fully there either. At times we have joked that support raising is not for the faint of heart. It ebbs and flows. It is full of blessing and surprises as well as challenges and frustrations. Adding to that is this feeling that you have nowhere that you really belong anymore because everything is changing. At the same time, we feel assured of what we are being called to. Cross-cultural ministry in the slums is where we need to be. Where we long to be.
As we get closer to leaving, we have both had to say good-bye to many things that we love, things that have held huge places within our lives. Lately, I have been thinking about the logos or labels we wear. There are so many things we adorn ourselves with, things we identify strongly with. We have begun to strip ourselves of these things over the past year. We now find ourselves wearing almost no labels. Tim has worn the SHG logo as student, football player, and coach for years. His football days will be over within the next few weeks. He has wore the Upward shirt, but that is no longer a role he will fill. We have both worn Fusion (WS High School ministry) clothing, we no longer have active roles in that ministry. I have worked at TASC for over 11 years. It was my first job out of college. On December 15, I will no longer be an employee. So what is left? We continue to be son, daughter, sister, brother, auntie, uncle, friend; however, these roles are also changing. Most importantly the label we have left is Child of God, Follower of Christ.
Today as I thought about the season of life we are in and the challenges it has brought, I began to let go of the frustrations. The confusion. The control. I was reminded that never in our lives have we been given the opportunity to strip away all of our labels and to identify ourselves simply as God's children, His beloved, His Disciples. Nothing else. That is so beautiful to me.
This time in our lives has been so much about faith. Philip Yancey says "I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse." This makes so much sense to us right now. Last night as we were praying through some struggles, we talked about how we feel like we are Peter walking on the water (see Matt 14:23-25). Sometimes we have moved through this process focused completely on Christ. Our eyes our locked in with His and we fearlessly walk towards him. But then we hear the wind. It comes is the form of rejection, disappointment, frustration, sadness, loss of control. We take our eyes off Christ and we sink. Deeper into those feelings. However, as soon as we again fix our eyes upon Jesus, we take steps into the unknown, into the deep with ease and confidence. As we continue support raising, awaiting a departure date, we continue to walk toward Jesus. He controls the winds and the waves. He calms storms. He calms our hearts. He can be trusted.
We have no idea how this all works out. He does. We rest in that. In the midst of the ebb and flow, of the blowing wind, we thank Him for a season of life where we are fully dependent upon Him. Where His logo is the only one we put on.